Evaluation of preprocessing techniques for chief complaint classification

Dara J, Dowling JN, Travers D, Cooper GF, Chapman WW. Evaluation of preprocessing techniques for chief complaint classification. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 41 (2008) 612-623.  PMID: 18166502

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether preprocessing chief complaints before automatically classifying them into syndromic categories improves classification performance.

METHODS:

We preprocessed chief complaints using two preprocessors (CCP and EMT-P) and evaluated whether classification performance increased for a probabilistic classifier (CoCo) or for a keyword-based classifier (modification of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene chief complaint coder (KC)).

RESULTS:

CCP exhibited high accuracy (85%) in preprocessing chief complaints but only slightly improved CoCo's classification performance for a few syndromes. EMT-P, which splits chief complaints into multiple problems, substantially increased CoCo's sensitivity for all syndromes. Preprocessing with CCP or EMT-P only improved KC's sensitivity for the Constitutional syndrome.

CONCLUSION:

Evaluation of preprocessing systems should not be limited to accuracy of the preprocessor but should include the effect of preprocessing on syndromic classification. Splitting chief complaints into multiple problems before classification is important for CoCo, but other preprocessing steps only slightly improved classification performance for CoCo and a keyword-based classifier.

Publication Year: 
2008
Faculty Author: 
Publication Credits: 
Dara J, Dowling JN, Travers D, Cooper GF, Chapman WW.
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